Is the PhD worth it?

I’ve spent the past 6 years working toward my PhD.  And I’ve wanted to quit more times for more reasons than I ever could have anticipated.

But I’m in the final stages now. I’m editing my dissertation and getting ready to send it to my committee. I can almost see the light at the end of the tunnel. I’m so close.

Someone recently asked me if it was worth it.

Whenever I’m asked to do a workshop during school hours, I always think– is this worth taking teachers away from the students who so desperately need them? If I don’t feel the answer is yes, then I won’t do it.

I’ve asked myself the same thing about getting my PhD often. Is it worth it? Is the time I am spending writing a dissertation worth the time I could be teaching kids or teachers?

Every time I wanted to quit, it was because I struggled with that question  And every time, I eventually decided that it was.

I did take some time away from it over the past 6 years (against much of the advice I was given). I took time to teach, to coach, to do workshops, to blog, and to read about what you all are doing. It helped me to remember what this whole enterprise is about and that all the research being done doesn’t matter if it doesn’t affect our students and our teachers and our schools.

That said, I have learned so much over the past six years from engaging in research and thinking long and hard about difficult questions. It’s changed the way I think.   Which has changed the way I design lessons, the way I teach kids, and the way I coach teachers.

So yes, it was worth it.

So now what?

I can share with you all what I found in my dissertation and what we found in our larger research project. But what I think is more interesting is sharing how I use what I’ve learned from this experience to my work with teachers and students. So that’s the plan for now. I’m sure I’ll learn lots from all of you along the way.

4 thoughts on “Is the PhD worth it?

  1. Clara Maxcy (Cleargrace)

    The whole point of learning is that we grow with and use the lessons of our learning- whether we are 9 or 90. I enjoy learning from you and others. Thank you for persevering, and I can hardly wait to hear more.

  2. gfletchy

    Just seeing “NEW POST: Bridging the Gap” in my inbox makes me smile. Congratulations Nicora on your perseverance and to finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.
    Can’t wait to read what you’ve learned.